An appropriate subtitle for this post might be, “Getting into the Nitty Gritty.” Part 1 just dealt with a bit of amniotic fluid. This part will include vomit, blood, and a substantial amount of moaning on my part, so I’ve provided a “rainbow and sparkles” synopsis for the easily grossed out.
“My water was leaking, my husband was laughing, my doula was helping with last minute packing. My toddler was tucked into slumber at last and our exit was delayed by a persistent stray cat.
The car ride was queasy, the wheelchair not easy, but ninja doula was on it and husband still teasy.
There may have been fluid, and blood, and some bile, but labor steadily progressed all the while. The nurses all smiled, I got the doc riled, and my cervix decided to pop open with style.
Then out Zane flew, the doctor withdrew, my moaning was over and cooing ensued.
Congrats, I am now a mother of two.” 🙂
The more accurate run of events is as follows: Angela arrived and we did a few more laps outside before I remembered I had to get my birth plan written. Inside we went to quick type that up and finish packing my hospital bag. My contractions started picking up in frequency, intensity, and duration and I was finding the Bradley Method breathing with humming on the exhale to work well. Angela massaged my back and squeezed my hips during them and it was extremely helpful for me. Brian gave me a kiss and a hug and then ruined it by murmering, “Don’t pee on me.” I wacked him with one of Zane’s cloth diapers. We got everything ready, finally, and left the house. As we opened the door the stray cat that had been following us on our walk darted inside like she owned the place. Brian hissed at her and sent her darting right back out, haha. Finally we were in the cars, April had the monitor to keep an eye on Cade, and my contractions were roughly every two minutes apart.
I had been hopeful that I’d miss out on the vomiting that accompanied Cade’s labor, but no such luck. It wasn’t two minutes into the drive before I unscrewed the lid to Cade’s pretzel container and baptised them in lunch and dinner. Brian’s response was a snarky, “Remind me to never get pregnant. It doesn’t look at all fun.” We got to the L&D building, realized belatedly that we had to enter through the ER, and signed the appropriate forms. At this point sitting was extremely uncomfortable, so the lady who wheeled me to my room kindly stopped and let me stand during contractions. Angela continued the back rubs and hip squeezes and my humming was now most definitely moans on the exhale. We made it to the room, I managed to give a urine sample and get into the stylish hospital robe, but I was leaking amniotic fluid everywhere since I had to remove my underwear. My cervix was measuring 3-4cms and 80% effaced.
My labor progressed with position changes and chux pads everywhere. Leaking the whole time was really gross, and it was difficult for me to move around because of my belly, and there was more throwing up-I felt like some parody of the swamp thing. I ended up with antibiotics because the lab hadn’t returned my Strep B swab results yet (grrrr), but the nurses were great and let me move around as much as the monitor would permit. Unfortunately, my preferred position of standing and leaning forward for contractions was not ZANE’S preferred position and his heartbeat kept getting lost off the readouts, so I ended up on my side in the bed for more time then I had planned, rolling back and forth between sides.
Then transition contractions hit and this is the point in labor where you pretty much feel like your insides are being removed. These aren’t no “amplified period cramps”, these are…pretty much indescribable, I have no analogy for them. To make matters more fun I got stuck for about an hour (maybe more? Angela would know better than I) juuuuust under 10 cms dilated because the anterior lip of my cervix didn’t feel like going away. Thanks, cervix. I was definitely a moaning fiend at this point, and in between contractions my back was one massive ache, I could no longer find any position comfortable.
This is when a minor altercation ensued between me and the doctor on call. My doctor, Dr Pollard, was all for delayed cord clamping and up to date on the most recent studies illustrating the benefits and dispelling the theories of possible harm. The doctor on call was not as comfortable with the procedure. Words were exchanged over top of my moaning, and I requested the article he cited as the reason for immediate cord clamping. He left, I’m assuming to get the article, though he seemed a little bewildered that, yes, I did actually want him to back up his claims.
Anywho, back to labor. Being stuck at pretty much 10 cm but unable to push is the pits, the anterior lip of my cervix needed to get with the program. I was sitting up at this point because the pressure to push was hitting in each contraction and the nurse was checking during contractions to see if she could pop Zane’s head over the remaining cervix. No such luck.
So I laid back down on my left side, Zane stretched or kicked or SOMEthing and there was a weird semi-painful pressure pop in my pelvis. The urge to push after that was utterly uncontrollable. Ready or not, here Zane comes! I sat up, with much assistance from Angela, the nurse checked on the next contraction and told me to stop because baby was coming and they needed to get the doc. The doc came in, suited up, sat down, and then to my complete surprise said that he was fine with delaying cord clamping for at least 60 seconds. …? Well okay then, one problem solved.
I swear it was like the very next push that Zane’s head popped out. Holy cow, that is a craaaaazy sensation. My moaning definitely ramped up in volume till I’m pretty sure I sounded like someone was attempting to strangle a goose. The doc offered to let me reach down and finish delivering Zane myself, which is super cool! BUT the next contraction happened and I couldn’t unclench my hands from the bed rails, haha. And out Zane popped! Seriously maybe 4 pushes total-once my cervix finally relented my body shoved Cade out like a greased pig.
He was placed directly on my chest making cute little whimper noises. His head was purple with bruising from being shoved into my cervix for so long, but the rest of him was a healthy pink. He has a bunch of hair and my nose. 😀
I did tear a little-warranting some stitches, and I also needed a little pitocin to stop the post birth hemorrhaging, but the euphoria from giving birth was (is!) incredible.
When I finally let them take him for measurements he weighed an even 7lbs-at two and a half weeks early! Glad I didn’t go full term…He also shot a nice arc of urine that cleared his head and hit the warmer controls, haha. I took him back after measurements for more snuggling and breastfeeding, and then when I finally relinquished him again for his bath I was able to take a shower myself.
So that’s the story of Zane’s birth. It was messy, and icky, and painful, and the most incredible, wonderful thing I’ve ever experienced. From regular contractions until delivery was 6.5 hours total, from my water breaking it was 9. I feel so much better post delivery than I did with Cade’s birth-the delivery high is phenomenal!
A huge thankyou to my neighbor who has put my mind entirely at ease with babysitting Cade. She already has her hands full with her own super adorable twins, but she looked after Cade for most of the morning and sent pictures of their collective shennanigans. I am so thankful she moved in next door!
And another huge thank you to my friend and doula-not only did she ease the pain of labor and coach me through the entire process when I was more than ready to give up (hello, transition, you’re evil) but her constant support and encouragement throughout this whole pregnancy process had me feeling calm and confident about natural labor, instead of apprehensive and unsure. I have been blessed with such awesome friends down here!
The only things that could have made this birth any better was if my doc had been the one on call (I can’t say enough good things about him) and if my mom could’ve been there like she was with Cade’s birth. Dude, if the doc thought I was opinionated and stubborn, he’d’ve been completely floored by my mom. Ain’t nobody mess with her children. Ever. My mom is the best. 🙂